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Sermon Recap, June 09, 2024

Today, I want to share some reflections on our recent sermon titled "In All That You Wish," where we explored the importance of humbling ourselves before God. Our scriptural focus was on James 4:1-10, a passage that, while challenging, offers profound insights for our spiritual journey.

We began by considering the analogy of receiving a big, valuable gift. When we receive such a gift, we naturally express gratitude, consider how to use it well, and often think about how to share it with others. Similarly, the Holy Spirit is a precious gift from God. We are called to say thank you to God, use the Spirit in our lives, and pay it forward by sharing its blessings with others.

In the previous sermons, we delved into the book of James, where we learned about faith and works, the power of the tongue, and the need for accountability in our Christian walk. James teaches us that faith without works is dead—not to induce guilt, but to hold us accountable. A genuine relationship with Jesus should manifest in actions that reflect His love.

James 3 emphasizes that while we cannot fully control our tongues, we can guard our hearts, filling them with goodness so that our words reflect that inner purity. Now, in James 4, we confront some harsh truths about our desires and conflicts. James challenges us to recognize the evil desires within us and the futility of seeking satisfaction apart from God.

Verse 1 asks, "What causes fights and quarrels among you?" James identifies the root as the evil desires within us. These desires lead to jealousy, conflict, and, ultimately, a failure to ask God for the right motives. This passage can seem harsh, but it calls us to a deeper examination of our hearts and motives.

James 4:9, which speaks of sorrow and gloom, can be particularly jarring. Yet, it is a call to genuine repentance and humility before God. Humbling ourselves involves acknowledging our brokenness and seeking God's grace. The promise in verse 10 is clear: "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."

I shared a personal story about coaching my son, Dante, in baseball. My harsh words to him when he missed several pitches served as a reminder of how easy it is to crush someone's spirit, even with good intentions. This experience highlighted the need for humility and gentleness in our interactions with others.

As a community, we must remember that our goal is to uplift and encourage one another. The gospel calls us to see beyond our brokenness and to trust in God's transforming power. James 4:7-8 offers the path forward: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and He will come near to you."

In our journey of humbling ourselves before God, we can practice the following:

1. Acknowledge God's sovereignty and our dependence on Him.

2. Seek forgiveness from God and extend it to others.

3. Practice gratitude through action and prayer.

4. Share our faith and build others up.

5. Cultivate a spirit of gentleness and patience.

These steps, grounded in Scripture, help us to live out our faith authentically. Let us excel in loving God, our neighbors, and ourselves, reflecting the unselfish love of Christ in all that we do.

Beloved Church, may we continually humble ourselves before the Lord, trusting that He will lift us up and guide us in all that we wish for His glory.

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